Kamloops Fire Rescue is paving the way for a new 911 system, one that could eventually allow residents to text, send photos or share video in an emergency situation.
The Kamloops department has the first dispatch centre in the province to implement Next Generation 911, having completed software upgrades in recent months in advance of provincewide change expected within three to five years.
“We’ve done the first phase of a multi-phase progression into the Next Gen,” Kamloops Fire Rescue Chief Mike Adams told KTW.
“We see that happening over the next three to five years to fully migrate into the Next Gen, but in order to be ahead of the curve and make sure that some of that key infrastructure is in place, we’ve done that and migrated into the first phase.”
In 2017, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission directed telephone companies to update networks to provide the service, as a result of increasing mobile phone use.
Kamloops Fire Rescue provides emergency dispatch services for the local fire department, as well as 29 other departments in the area. It also has a contract with Castlegar in the Kootenays.
“With that in mind, we’re looking forward to where the technology is going,” Adams said.